Hiring An SEO Expert? Things To Include In Your Checklist
by Al Gomez
It doesn’t matter what kind of industry you are in. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small, medium or large business. In this very dynamic and diverse marketing world, somehow you need SEO to help you promote your business online.
But hiring an SEO expert to help you boost your business, it not an easy-peasy job. You need to carefully choose the right SEO consultant which can cater your needs. So to help you, we have compiled and created a checklist to help you hire the right SEO expert to help you optimize your website.
#1. More Than 5 Years Of SEO Experience
Perhaps one of the biggest shake up in the SEO industry happened way back 2012. The first Penguin roll out happened that year which targeted SEO companies doing blackhat techniques such as keyword stuffing, spamming and other inappropriate link building. Thereafter comes back-to-back algorithm updates which strengthen the accuracy and credibility of SERP.
Before you hire an SEO consultant, take a look at his experience. Did he survive these algorithm updates? How did he go through in order to surpass the challenges?
Anyone can call themselves an expert but do they have the years of experience to back them up. SEO is more than just setting up an agency and it’s done. It’s about surviving the storms and gaining experience. This experience can help SEO experts survive other more complicated updates which no doubt would happen sooner or later. So before you hire and so-called expert make sure, you have cross this out on your list.
#2. Worked And Provided Results To Several Clients
For an SEO specialist, it is easy to talk about what we can do for your website. But it’s a totally different story when you ask us about “what have we done to make our clients happy?”
A good and skillful SEO specialist can present you with portfolios and sample works. He can provide you with a proven track record which he has earned over the years. While you can’t expect a perfect ten in all of his works, he must be able to present you with a decent number of successful works and happy clients opposite to the overall number of clients he has handled.
Moreover, don’t trust everything your prospect SEO expert say, you also need to check on current references like reviews and testimonials to know what other clients has to say about him.
#3. Advanced Level Of SEO Understanding
Search engine optimization has a large scope. It is not just about getting your websites rank higher or getting a boost in your traffic. It is also about boosting your business conversion through a total package SEO campaign.
What does it mean when we say total package SEO? Your search engine optimization expert should have a wide understanding of the three important elements of search engine optimization. These are
Choose an SEO expert that has knowledge on the technical issues needed to be fixed in your website. This mainly involves that structure of your website. An experience search engine optimization consultant knows how to configure the website structure so it is easy for search engines to crawl and index the content of your website.
This may include SEO measures directly done within the website like html and meta tagging, smart ways of internal linking and providing quality content which will make your website SEO-friendly.
This involves external practices such as link-building to optimize the website.
Before you choose your SEO consultant, make sure he or she knows how to leverage these three fundamental elements of SEO which can boost your website performance.
#4. They Provide You With Clear Expectations
Clearly, hiring an expert and experience SEO provider is not an assurance that you can have a successful campaign. It’s hard to tell whether the SEO plan will be successful just by the looks of it. But somehow, they should be able to explain to you what you should expect when the campaign runs.
If you have already relayed to them your objectives and your needs, your prospect SEO expert should lay down on the table what he will do to meet the objectives. If your prospect tells you, “I can give you an increased traffic 6 months from now.” — it is not enough. In SEO, metrics are important. He should be able to give you a perspective. Something like, “During this campaign, your traffic/sessions should increase by 10-15% month-over-month”.
Setting up clear expectations will help you determine the success of the campaign later on. An experienced SEO specialist knows that more than just results, he should be able to provide you with measurable insights to determine SEO success.
#5. Adheres In Google Guidelines And Best Practices
Knowledge is important but no matter how skillful an SEO specialist is if he doesn’t follow Google guidelines, your website will likely go downward spiral. SEO experts have no control of what will be the next big move by search engine giants like Google but they should be proactive enough to anticipate change, adapt to it and develop strategies that adhere with the guidelines.
Be wary of so-called SEO experts who will give you assurance of fast and easy traffic. These are the kind of people who are likely to get involved in blackhat SEO and they might be preying your just for money. You’ll more likely just end up getting penalized.
Stick to an SEO expert who can provide you with long-term results using the best practices that adheres in Google guidelines.
#6. Consistency In Communications and Providing Comprehensive Reports
Before you hire an SEO expert, you have to be knowledgeable on how consistent is he or she in sending out reports and progress of the campaign. A good search engine optimization specialist will send you reports regularly.
Don’t fall for an SEO specialist who will send you updates regarding your website performance only when you ask for it. Whether the campaign is working or not, a good SEO consultant will send you reports and will make you understand how the campaign resulted to those metrics.
Excellent communication skills are crucial in choosing you SEO provider. Your SEO specialist should clearly communicate with you on the progress of the SEO campaign. So if the SEO consultant cannot assure you with a regular reporting and clear communication, try to look at your other options.
#7. Knowledgeable and Accountable In Making Changes To Your Website
When hiring an SEO Expert, the first thing you need to do is to entrust your website to your consultant. It is the responsibility of an SEO consultant to configure, manipulate or change some SEO issues in your website. That is why you need to hire someone that is not only knowledgeable but also is accountable in making changes to your website.
As a part of changing some elements in your website, you can’t avoid some downtime or your website getting slower. During this situation, you have to make sure that you hired an expert who knows how to redeem or improve your website performance taking necessary website changes.
Any changes in your website could make or break your website so make sure your SEO consultant is accountable for every actions he makes in your website.
Hiring an SEO Expert to promote your business is an investment. As website or business owner, you need to mitigate the risks by choosing the right person to give you quality service. So try to look over the list above and check if your prospect SEO Expert can provide you with the things needed to boost your website.
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